Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A Brent treasure: Roe Green Walled Garden Open Day Saturday September 10th

There will be an  Open Day at Roe Green Walled Garden in Kingsbury on Saturday September 10th from 10.30am until 4pm. This is another Brent resource, passionately supported by volunteers of the Barn Hill Conservation Group, that deserves to be better known. To whet your appetite here is some background from the Group:
Roe Green Walled Garden
The little known oasis is located within Roe Green Park, Kingsbury next to Kingsbury Manor House.

In order to locate the garden start opposite the junction of Kingsbury Road with Valley Drive and follow the road into Roe Green Park, bear left at the fork and continue to the Walled Garden. Buses 183 and 204 stop by the junction; and Kingsbury tube station is nearby.

The garden was originally part of the estate of the house now called Kingsbury Manor. The house was built in 1899 for the Duchess of Sutherland and her third husband Sir Albert Kaye Rollit, who was M.P. for Islington from 1886 to 1906. It was then a country house, surrounded by farmland, and was called 'The Cottage'.
By 1909 the house was occupied by Countess Bubna, daughter of the Duchess; it later changed hands several times. In 1929 George Cloke bought the house and changed its name to 'Kingsbury Manor'. He sold the house and grounds to Middlesex County Council in 1938, and the house become a home for elderly people, while the walled garden was part of a Council Depot used for the training of Parks staff. 

John Logie Baird, inventor of television, rented the nearby Coach House in 1928. It was there that he received the first television signals from Berlin. The concrete bases of his two television masts can still be seen near the building, which is now used by the Nursery. 

In 1989 Barn Hill Conservation Group were offered the use of the facilities, including the workshop, greenhouse and cold frames, and agreed to look after the garden. It was then in a rather neglected state, and members of the Group worked every Thursday morning to tidy and improve it. 

The Group's tree nursery was established just outside the garden, growing trees from seed collected in Fryent Country Park. The young trees have been used to replant some of the old hedgerows there. 

Several new features were introduced, one of the first being the organic vegetable garden. Compost containers were built to recycle the weeds that seem to grow everywhere. Another recycling project was the dry-stone wall, constructed in the traditional way, but from rubble instead of stone. 

A new pond was dug to encourage wildlife - frogs, toads and newts - while the old round pond was left for the fish. Homes, from recycled wood, for a variety of creatures, can be seen in one corner, and birds are encouraged by nest boxes and feeders. 
Awards and Financing
The Green Flag Community Award (formerly Green Pennant Award) recognises high quality green spaces that are managed by voluntary and community groups. The Award is part of the Green Flag Award scheme (Keep Britain Tidy), the national standard for quality parks and green spaces. Each site is judged on its own merits and suitability to the community it serves. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Pennant status. Roe Green Walled Garden has won this award each year since 2005. 
Barn Hill Conservation Group have received a number of grants through the years to improve the garden - one to pave the area outside the workshop, another to re-point the East wall; but our largest grant was for our new Conservation Centre building (now named 'The Cottage' after the name of the original manor House). This new building is proving to be a great asset, and for which we give many thanks to the National Lotteries Charity Board.  The Group have also been given a grant from Brent’s Ward Working which was used to part finance a gazebo, and more recently a grant form Santander which will be used to help finance a greenhouse/classroom.  In addition to grants and donations the group are also financed from sales of bric-a-brac, books, plants, logs and wood-craft.
Current details

The Walled garden, has been maintained by the Barn Hill Conservation Group (a completely welcoming and inclusive group) since 1989, is a wonderful tranquil and peaceful area to sit, walk and browse with free entry open every Tuesday Thursday and Saturday between 10 and 2. 

The gardens enjoys visits from the local schools and other community groups

It is home to Great Crested newts, a Bee Hive and a constructed home for bugs and insects 



The group host several open days during the year and two years ago hosted a Russian Tea Ceremony which was presented from a Russian Group that made Kolomna Pastila using British apples to discover the tastes of the time of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. 

Our next open day is Saturday 10th September 2016 between 10.30 and 4, but is also open for visitors on Tuesday’s Thursday’s and Saturdays between 10 & 2.

Further Information

The group also do conservation every Sunday on Fryent Country Park a list of meeting places and events can be found on our website http://www.bhcg.btck.co.uk/ or contact can be made by phone on 020 8206 0492 or email barnhillconservationgroup@gmail.com


Philip Grant said...

If you haven't been to Roe Green Walled Garden before, give yourself a treat and go to the open day on Saturday!


Philip Grant said...

The garden was looking wonderful yesterday, even in the rain.

If you were put off from going there by the weather, it is still open to visit any Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday between 10am and 2pm.